Selfishly Giving

I did a selfish thing today. It felt so good and I smiled so big that when I walked into basketball practice last night, two people asked me what was up. It was something I hope you do for yourself soon and I want to tell you about it… First though, let me tell you about my new friend, Melissa.

Melissa’s husband is gravely ill. Riddled with cancer, he also is in renal failure and has advanced diabetes. Late last week, he suffered a heart attack – something the doctors attribute to the relentless assaults on his body. Melissa’s daughter is keeping up a strong front as she goes to school each day. She wants to feel normal, like the other kids in her class. That is hard though, not just because her daddy is very sick, but also because now her mom is falling behind on the bills too. The car needed repairs last month and, with all of the trips back and forth to the hospital (which, because they live in a very rural area, is a LONG way from home) she went through a lot of money. The rent was late. The car payments were three months late. Last Saturday, Melissa called and told us her electricity was shut off.

What selfish thing I did today…? I got to call Melissa and tell her not to worry about these financial things right now.

After receiving her application and other documents in the mail, the New Day Foundation for Families (created in honor of Matt Kell and Cathy Spehn) has stepped in. The first phone call went to the electric company. Within a few hours the power went back on at their home. Next, we caught the family up on their car payments and rent. We will be walking along side this family for the next several months to get them back on solid ground financially and to make sure that their daughter understands that she’s not alone and that God has a plan for her.

It is important to remember though, this isn’t “move that bus!” time at Melissa’s house. This isn’t time for parties and Disney vacations… She still has to turn around and deal with a husband who is dying and a little girl who doesn’t understand. But for today, for now, they can take care of each other while we take care of the little stuff like the bills.

A long time ago, I was a cynic out on the rocks of Newport Beach, CA, thinking that crashing surf and beautiful sunsets were all I needed to feel close to God. I was wrong. I was missing the good stuff. The parts of life where we connect with one another. Where we take each other’s hands and hearts and walk together.

My new friend Melissa cried today on the phone as she heard this news. I told her I was sorry for making her cry. She said, “These are the first happy tears I’ve shed in a long while.”

I can’t tell you what it feels like to do this work.

I am relentlessly blessed.


To those who continue to support The New Day Foundation… Thank you.

To join them, visit the web site below.

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2 thoughts on “Selfishly Giving

  1. Mike and Gina, I’ve been so blessed to hear your moving story at Lutheran Church of the Cross in Aliso Viejo CA! It brought back the sweetest of memories living on Raven Lane with Cathy, Mike, & darlings…

    Now I just read your amazing book…. “And all God’s people say, ‘WOW!”

    Thank you for inspiring so many to seek faith, hope and love. God bless you!